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Celebrating New York City Marathon 50th Anniversary!

The Legendary Moses Mayfield

Moses Mayfield will be returning to New York as a guest for the 50th Anniversary of the New York Marathon. Moses will be 77 on December 5th. In his prolific career he won road races 48 times. Moses was a perennial front runner. He led the 1970 inaugural marathon for 23 miles: running at a sub 2:22 pace early on. Ted Corbitt wrote him the following 6 days after the NY Marathon along with some training and nutrition tips.

“There are those who say that you run too fast in your marathons. As I told you, I disagree with them, since with your top goals you are still running too slow. For instance, the Commonwealth Games Marathon was won by Ron Hill in 2:09:28. But get this: Drayton, Ndoo and Hill all passed 5 miles 23:31 and just over 33 minutes for 7 miles and then Hill took off and passed 10 miles in 47:45 - Hill doing 4:47 miles.”

Moses would go on to win the first Philadelphia Marathon two months later in 2:24:29 when he became the fastest African American marathoners of all-time surpassing Ted Corbitt’s 2:26:44 set in 1958. He would go on to win in Philadelphia again in 1971. Moses was also the champion of the 1968 Cherry Tree Marathon which was the signature New York Road Runners race in the 1960s.

Moses Mayfield was one of the all-time great runners. Here are some candidates for a Mount Rushmore of Middle Atlantic (Philadelphia) Area Long Distance Running History: Jack Barry, Tom Donnelly, Gary Fanelli, Ed League, Herb Lorenz, Moses Mayfield, Tom Osler, Jack Pyrah, and Browning Ross.

Attached are two cover pictures from Browning Ross’s Long Distance Log. The first is Moses Mayfield and the second is the start of the 1967 Cherry Tree Marathon.

For more information about long distance running and track & field history visit: